To put it simply, sciatica is a pain in the butt…and the legs.Sciatica refers to pain or burning sensations originating in the spine and spreading from the buttocks and hip to the legs. In severe cases, sciatica can cause debilitating leg weakness. Fortunately, most people dont require an operation to gain relief from sciatica, and if they do, surgery often is successful. Just be sure to seek an evaluation to identify the true cause of your leg pain and avoid any complications. For most patients, the prognosis is favorable, says Daniel Mazanec, MD, associate director of Cleveland Clinics Center for Spine Health. Medically, were looking for significant improvement in six weeks, often faster.